A busy 2 weeks.

After collecting my award for Best Novelty Sign at the EnRoute summit and meeting some super amazing people, it was time to return home and get ready for our first Sign Alchemy class.

 People started arriving for the class on Wednesday night and we spent some time hanging out at the shop and preparing for the days to come.  Everyone arrived Thursday morning eager to get started learning how we do what we do. Doug Haffner and Myself ( Jim Dawson ) spent time lecturing, demonstrating, and helping our attendees learn as much as possible over the 3 day class time. Each evening, we took the class out to dinner and then came back to the shop for more 1 on 1 instruction and sharing. The funny thing about teaching is that typically the teacher will learn as much as the student by trying things different ways.

I think I can speak for everyone in saying that we all learned a lot and never strayed too far from the spirit of fun that makes us who we are.

Here are some highlights from the class.

30lb Coastal Enterprises Precision Board Plus name plaques were carved for all attendees to customize and learn on.

Smooth-On is our official supplier for Mold Rubbers, Casting Resins, and Epoxy Clay materials. Here you see a mold we made at the class using Smooth-On Platinum cure silicone.


We also provided everyone with some awesome sample boxes filled with Smooth-On products and Coastal Enterprises coatings and Precision Board Samples to take home and play with.

Carved concrete demo panel.



Everyone finished out the 3 day workshop with some amazing pieces to take home. We are already busy planning workshops for next year.

Drop us a line if you are interested in attending one or both of our 2018 workshops we are planning.

Special thanks to the following sponsors who made this year’s workshop and overwhelming success!


Published with permission from Synergy Sign & Graphics. Source.

Philip – number one

Philip’s name tag was back to basics, a relatively simple 3D build. I started with the vectors – all built in EnRoute and used the offset drawing tool to create the plaque edge and letter borders. The plaque shape is a combination of a rectangle and circle shapes.
Once I had the vectors nailed I stated with a simple flat relief that was 0.65″ tall.

Then I dropped the center portions of the plaque by 0.35″ . It is deep enough to allow two layers of texture bitmaps. which is the next step.

The first bitmap is called frantic stars (from the TEXTURE MAGIC COLLECTION) I applied it with a value of 0.15″ which means the white was raised by 0.15″ The black areas didn’t do anything remained flat.

Then I imported the splotches bitmap into EnRoute and applied it at 0.1″.

The lettering border was created as a separate flat relief at 0.65″ tall.

The decorative round bits were the next reliefs to be crated using the bevel tool. I looked at the front view to make sure they were in position vertically.

The round cones and the lettering background were was then merges highest with the background.

 THe last step before tool pathing was to create the prismatic lettering using the bevel relief tool.

I used a 3/8″ ball nose bit to rough it out (50% overlap) and a 1/8″ ball nose bit with an 80% overlap for the final pass. I used an island fill. The piece was routed from 1.5″ thick sheet of 30 lb Precision Board.
Stay tuned for more…

Published with permission from precisionboard.blogspot.com. Source.